‘Y’ road work impact less than expected
After all the doom and gloom traffic jam warnings, the California Department of Transportation is completing the last leg of roadwork at the “Y” intersection without major mishap or disturbing congestion.
According to Pete Specter, Caltrans resident engineer for the project, drivers only had to wait between five and 10 minutes.
“We were expecting big delays but I think when we got the word out that we were expecting these big delays, drivers took it upon themselves to look at their maps and figure out detours,” Specter said. “If we don’t get rained out, the “Y” section should be done today and then we’ll start at Stateline and work our way back toward the ‘Y’.”
The $13.8 million Caltrans project to resurface 40 miles of U.S. Highway 50 began last week and is scheduled to last until the end of June or at the absolute latest, July 4. This year Caltrans is paving 5 miles of U.S. Highway 50 from the “Y” to the Nevada state line.
In an effort to avoid past experiences involving frustrated drivers harassing road workers, Caltrans has requested the help of law enforcement agents to keep angry, abusive drivers at bay.
“I’m stationed here all day to protect the workers from the drivers. They get real hostile,” said Chris Rettig, traffic officer for the California Highway Patrol. “But this is really not bad, they kept saying it would be 45 minutes to one hour delays, but the worst is only about 15 minutes.”
Back roads circumventing the intersection were more popular Wednesday than usual, as drivers tried to avoid getting stuck behind the paving and grinding machines.
“We aren’t able to put up any detour information because the traffic re-routing changes from minute to minute as they complete each section,” Rettig said. “We’re keeping all the arteries open, a lot of people stop and ask about other routes and we’ve been keeping them informed as best we can.”
According to Specter, and of course weather permitting, paving will begin Monday beginning at the state line and moving toward the “Y” – at the rate of one-third mile each day.
More information about roadwork and delays:
– Get online at http//www.dot.ca.gov/dist3
– Listen to the Caltrans radio station at 1610 AM
– Call (800) 427-ROAD
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